According to Huffington Post reporter Joe Satran, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested each year for drinking in public.
But it turns out drinking in public isn’t illegal everywhere in the U.S.
While doing research for an in-depth story on “The Secret History of the War on Public Drinking,” Satran discovered there are 12 towns that allow public drinking in most or all areas, as well as eight other towns that allow public drinking in ‘special entertainment districts.’
There are also numerous states that don’t have a statewide ban at all.
Satran created the helpful map above to show Americans where they can and cannot drink in public. Surprisingly, only 17 states ban the practice completely, and both Colorado and Ohio currently have pending laws that could allow public drinking in designated areas.
But what “public drinking” means around the country is a whole different story. Explains Satran:
But this map actually masks the true extent of the confusion, because the various municipal and state statutes banning the behaviour define the offence in myriad ways. They also stipulate a huge range of penalties for offenders, from a simple fine of $US25, payable by mail (New York City), to a ticket of up to $US1,000 or a jail sentence of up to 6 months (Hawaii and New Mexico).
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